Most Expensive Bicycle

Most Expensive Bicycle

This is reportedly the World’s Most Expensive Bicycle, and I don’t doubt the validity of that claim for a minute.

The Butterfly Trek Madone is a work of art that was created by British artist Damien Hirst. The Trek Madone bicycle was designed using real butterfly wings that were lacquered onto the frame and rims of the bike. I always thought Red Bull gave me wings, but apparently so can this bicycle.Trek Butterfly Madone

Hirst is quoted as having said of this bicycle that “The technical problems were immense. I wanted to use real butterflies and not just pictures of butterflies, because I wanted it to shimmer when the light catches it like only real butterflies do, and we were trying not to add any extra weight to the bike.” . There certainly would be substantial challenges in building a bike using real butterfly wings.

As one might imagine, the project did not go over well with animal rights activists, claiming the use of real buttterfly wings was ‘barbaric’. It is easy to see why a lot of people would be less than happy with this scenario, as butterflies are such delicate creatures.

Trek Butterfly Madone

Serious Racing Bicycle

The bike itself was not a regular bicycle. This bicycle was reportedly ridden by Lance Armstrong in the 2009 Tour de France. The Trek Madone is itself not a cheap bike – they run in the $5,000 – $15,000 range without the butterfly wings, and they are very high quality professional racing bikes. The Livestrong Foundation auctioned this bike at Sotheby’s on November 1, 2009 in New York City. The Sotheby’s auction where it sold was held to raise money for cancer research, awareness, and advocacy. I am glad the money went to a good cause. The auction raised a total of $1.5 million dollars for cancer.

There were 20 artists that were asked to create unique and interesting artwork to be shown and sold at this auction. So, how much did this litte butterfly bike bring at auction? An unbelievable $500,000 dollars. A bicycle that is covered in lacquered butterfly wings and ridden by Lance Armstrong brought in half a million dollars. At least the money went to cancer research.

I wonder if I could auction off my bicycle for that much, or even for a tenth of that price? Perhaps if I covered it with oak leaves and lacquered them into the paint? Hmm….where is that can of lacquer?


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